New Hope closes deal to increase stake in Bengalla JV in Australia

3 December 2018 (Last Updated December 3rd, 2018 11:42)

Coal exploration and production firm New Hope has closed the acquisition of Wesfarmers’ 40% stake in the Bengalla thermal coal joint venture (JV) in New South Wales, Australia, for A$860m ($637.83m).

Coal exploration and production firm New Hope has closed the acquisition of Wesfarmers’ 40% stake in the Bengalla thermal coal joint venture (JV) in New South Wales, Australia, for A$860m ($637.83m).

The company signed an agreement with Wesfarmers in August to gain a controlling interest in the JV.

Last month, New Hope entered into a deal with partner Taipower to offer a 10% stake in the interest being acquired from the Wesfarmers transaction.

As a result of the completion of the transaction, New Hope has increased its ownership of the Bengalla project by 30%, taking its aggregate interest to 70%.

Taipower, which already owns a 10% interest in the JV, now owns an aggregate interest of 20% in the JV.

“It is pleasing the disciplined and patient review of these businesses resulted in outcomes for our shareholders that reflect the value of these world-class assets.”

The sale of the 40% stake is part of Wesfarmers’ review of its resources business initiated in 2016. Earlier this year, the company divested the Curragh coal mine in Central Queensland to Coronado Coal.

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said: “This completes the divestment of the coal businesses from our portfolio and it is pleasing the disciplined and patient review of these businesses resulted in outcomes for our shareholders, which reflect the value of these world-class assets.”

Meanwhile, Mitsui has signed an agreement to sell its 10% interest in the Bengalla JV to New Hope for A$215m.

The completion of the transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approval and is expected to take place in the first quarter of next year.

Upon closure of the deal, New Hope will own up to 80% interest.

The Bengalla mine has the capacity to produce up to 15 million tonnes of coal per annum and caters to domestic and export markets.